The vacuolar system in the absorptive cells of the goldfish hindgut was studied by rapid freeze-substituted and cytochemical techniques. The apical cytoplasm of the absorptive cells contained two types of vacuoles: endosomes and lysosomes. The former were characterized by an absence of acid phosphatase activity, a dot-like distribution of material at the peripheral rim, the labelling of the inner surface with horseradish peroxidase (HRP), and by frequent connections to cytoplasmic tubules (CT), which were also free of acid phosphatase activity. The latter vacuole was preferentially located in the deeper cytoplasm and was characterized by the presence of acid phosphatase activity, an electron-dense interior matrix, a peripheral electron-lucent region (a halo), and by the detachment of HRP from the inner surface. Connections between CTs and these latter vacuoles were rarely seen. In the deeper cytoplasm, fusion between endosomes and lysosomes was sometimes observed. These results suggest that the vacuoles which are associated with CTs are endosomes, but not lysosomes, and that internalized materials are transported through the endosome-lysosome system to a giant food vacuole in the cell.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology